Developer proposes five-story apartment complex on Olympia Drive in Amherst

  • A five-story apartment complex proposed for Olympia Drive.  MODUS STUDIO

  • A five-story apartment complex proposed for Olympia Drive.  MODUS STUDIO

  • A five-story apartment complex proposed for Olympia Drive.  MODUS STUDIO

Staff Writer
Monday, April 11, 2022

AMHERST — Plans for a 68-unit, dormitory-style apartment building to replace a former sorority house on Olympia Drive have been filed with the town’s Planning Department.

Archipelago Investments LLC of South Pleasant Street recently submitted concepts for a five-story building that would redevelop the 1.06-acre site at 47 Olympia Drive.

According to the plans, the as-yet-unnamed project would have 230 beds, an entry desk and lobby, along with fitness, study and gathering spaces.

Permitting for the project has not yet begun. Planning Director Christine Brestrup said a hearing date on the project before the Planning Board is still to be scheduled.

The development would go up immediately next to Olympia Place, a 75-unit, 236-bed apartment building at 57 Olympia Drive that has been reserved for local college students since its opening in September 2016.

In late 2020, Archipelago purchased, for $1.5 million, the site, with a 1971 brick, split-level building that previously housed the Iota Beta chapter of Chi Omega. Earlier this year the developer sought permission to demolish that aging building.

Artist conceptions from Modus Studio, architects in Fayetteville, Arkansas, show a building that is split into two parts, connected by a corridor, and with a landscaped courtyard between them.

Of the 68 units, 49 will be four-bedroom apartments, while nine will be studio apartments, and the remainder will be a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments.

Plans show no on-site parking, similar to the situation at Olympia Place. But the developer notes in the application that 600 or more spaces associated with the University of Massachusetts are in the immediate vicinity, and handicapped spaces will be available along Mather Drive.

Aside from Olympia Place, Archipelago has developed several other projects in Amherst, including the completed mixed-use buildings Boltwood Place, Kendrick Place and One East Pleasant, all in downtown Amherst.

Archipelago is also overseeing construction of a mixed-use building, 26 Spring, on Spring Street opposite the Inn on Boltwood, scheduled to open in 2023, and is preparing another site for the future construction of a mixed-use building, with 90 apartments and some retail space, to be called 11 East Pleasant.